Volunteer Diary

To celebrate volunteer week, we decided to ask two of our wonderful volunteers, Paddy and Geoff, to share what a day in the life of a ZSL Whipsnade volunteer is like. From roaming with the wolves, to helping the public understand more about our leggy giraffes, there’s always something happening. Here’s how our volunteering duo got on:

Volunteer meeting

Our volunteers start the day with a briefing on the latest zoo news. This is a great chance for everyone to meet up and get their game faces on for the day ahead. Not to mention there’s some delicious carrot cake being shared around – perks of the trade!

touch table at giraffes

After having their fill of cake, Paddy and Geoff headed forth to our giraffe enclosure. Visitors will be arriving soon, so it’s time to set up the touch table. Featuring life-sized replicas of giraffe bones, our two volunteers will show these sizable skulls to the public and offer some amazing wildlife facts.

Volunteer picture of giraffe

A keen photographer, Geoff can’t resist snapping some great shows of our giraffe family. It’s a sunny day, so like the visitors the giraffes are having a great time outside. While on any animal exhibits, our volunteers will answer any questions that visitors may have.

After giraffes it was over to the lions in our Africa section. While the lions got to sleep in the sunshine, our volunteers walked around giving out some amazing big cat facts. It also proved a great chance to hear Spike give a ferocious roar!

A pride of lions at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Even volunteers need a lunch break and Paddy has very wisely brought a pack-lunch to eat on the downs, getting an excellent view over Whipsnade. Geoff, however, can’t keep still even for lunch and goes to get some more photographs of his favourite animals at the cheetahs and flamingos.

After lunch it’s a quick rush down to the discovery centre, to help a group of school children navigate around the jungle and desert exhibits. Watch out for the crocs in the water!

Plumed Basilisk at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

While Paddy tends the discovery centre crocs, Geoff is off to the lemurs. For once the lemurs behave themselves, and no visitors get a surprise lemur jumping on their backs.

Group of Volunteers

Phew and after all that it’s the end of the day! We asked all the volunteers for a group photograph, so we could share with you all what a great job they’ve been doing. Make sure you keep an eye out for our volunteers on your next visit. Maybe you’d like to have a go yourself?

For all volunteering opportunities, keep an eye on our volunteers’ page. You never know, one day you could be helping out in the lemurs!

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